Friday, August 17, 2012

Day 80 August 1

King Kong and Knitting

By Al
Today we went to see King Kong as a radio play.  It was performed by Radio Theater, which does radio plays in front of live audiences.  The actors read their parts standing at microphones.  The do not move around, but they do use all of the voice inflections necessary to convey meaning on the radio.  They did an excellent job.  They were very skillful actors.  The only two disappointments were that the sound effects were pre-recorded and there was a very small audience.  It would have been fun to see the sound man doing the effects live.  Nevertheless, it was very entertaining, even though we knew the story.

That evening I went to my taiko class.  It was good exercise.  Evan, the intern, was teaching.  He is not a good as Karou, but he does a good job.  Because I don't go regularly, I have been having trouble learning new rhythms and songs.  But, they are understanding.  I do enjoy the chance to hit a drum now and then.

On the way back, I rode on the train with one of the other students.  He programs computers for buy and sell logarithms on the stock exchange.  You know the type of programs that caused the problem on this day.  He was telling me about the program that went out of control and started buying and selling a bunch of stocks. 

Here is a clip of an article from USA Today,

The time it takes to read this sentence is all it takes for nearly 2 million stock trades to flash through the stock market.  Most of those trades aren't coming from trigger-happy day traders and mutual fund managers with billions of dollars at their disposal. It's a flood of machine-gun speed fury coming from an army of computers programmed to obey complicated algorithms that are hyperactively buying and selling.
What does that mean to you, the individual investor? The next time you buy or sell a stock, forget the quaint idea that there is a living, breathing human being on the other side of the transaction. You're trading with a computer

This is what caused a major dip in the market on May 6 of 2010, and a smaller dip in the market on August 1, 2012.  This dip in the market probably lost several retired people money.   But, that is capitalism and god forbid the government should interfere with the ability of the market to screw things up. 

By Sally

I loved the radio theater.  The actors and sound effects were so good, I could see it all in my mind (probably helped that I have seen at least 3 versions at the movies). It was fun to see it performed close to the places mentioned in the story- Empire State Building, streets where they chased Kong.

In the evening I went to a knitting meetup in Brooklyn at DeKalb Square.  A group has taken shipping containers and converted them into small shops and food stands. It was hard for me to visualize before I saw it, but I found it quite charming when I actually saw it.  A knitting shop  in the market sponsored  the evening. I almost finished my first scarf.

Knitting shop is on the right and 1/2 of this container.  I don't know what the container on top is used for.

It was a rainy evening. Fortunately, we had tables under a canopy.  The knitting shop is behind the group on the left.
There are two courtyards surrounded by shops and food stands.  Most shops were closed in the evening, but many had interesting jewelry, clothes, etc.  I understand that the land has been sold,  the market will close, and the shops will disappear within the next month.


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